Taking place each year in March, International Women's Day is a global celebration of women. The organisation works year round highlighting the need for equality. This years campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter
"From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world." internationalwomensday.com
As a female owned and ran business, Artisans & Adventurers are passionate about uplifting women. Working closely with community groups across rural parts of Africa and India our talented female artisans rely on sales of their craft to feed, clothe and educate their families. We've asked our UK team of international women to pick their favourite female-made items from Artisans & Adventurers and tell us what being a woman means to them.
BEE, Head of Adventure and Co-founder
Growing up in South Africa, I had very few female role models, as girls were encouraged to get married and focus on their families. I launched Artisans & Adventurers with my business partner, Amy when I was 54 and it makes me feel proud every day. Artisans & Adventurers has allowed me to maintain my independence, see the world and do what I love. I hope that I can inspire other women that they can follow their dreams at any age. The product that is bringing me most joy at the moment is our Indigo Rugs. On a recent visit to our suppliers in India I got a lesson in weaving from the women who make them for us which gave me an enormous respect for the skill and strength needed to make each piece.
AMY, Creative Director and Co-founder
This years IWD campaign theme of 'balance' really resonated with me. Through my role as designer at Artisans & Adventurers I have been fortunate to work with many inspiring business women and artisans, sought out in hard to find places by my business partner Bee. These women continually challenge my perceptions of what a balanced life means. Whether it's our Book Keeper, Imogen, balancing motherhood with travel and meetings or our weaving communities in East Africa that work as a group to provide training, care and a steady income for everyone within their village regardless of age. Sisters are really doing it for themselves all over the world and balance can be achieved when we pull together. My favourite item in our collection at the moment are our Rwandan Bowl Baskets, I was really taken by Rwanda on my visit there early this year and the warmth and passion of the weavers has stayed with me since.
DANI, Store Manager & Visual Merchandiser
"Hi I'm Dani, you'll find me in Artisans & Adventurers Margate store, working on the website and photographing all of our lovely products. When I'm not shopkeeping in Margate and online, I can be found making and hand painting ceramics or chilling with my cat Misha.
To me, International Women's Day means campaigning for the right to be respected no matter your profession, situation or cultural background. Alongside being respectful of everyone you meet in your path. We all have the capacity to love and appreciate each other regardless of gender. I believe living and travelling gracefully and teaching others to be tolerant along the way is our duty.
My favourite Artisans & Adventurers product is our rings, I like to stack them up to create different looks. I'm currently rocking a trio on my right ring finger, consisting of Aluminium Equator Ring, Brass Paisley Ring & Brass Equator ring.
The best thing about being part of Artisans & Adventurers is the feeling that we're making a real difference. I love our team meetings where we discuss new products and how we can make them as ethical and sustainable as possible, whilst bringing joy to the crafters and customers. I get to see the production of our products from start to finish and always enjoy opening new deliveries because that's where I get creative on how to market and display them. A lot of love goes into every single step."
ABIGAIL, London Store Assistant
"Majoring in Anthropology at Goldsmiths University, I feel a strong connection to women all across the globe. My studies and job at Artisans & Adventurers have made me conscious of the need to empower women through my choices. My favourite item in the store at the moment is the Eye jewellery collection made by Benta in Kenya. The best thing about working at Artisans & Adventurers is the openness and care that Amy and Bee have with all of our partners across the world. I also love that everyone who works here shares the same values and that we have all become great friends."
YASMIN, London Store Assistant
"I am a freelance artist/maker with my own ceramic collection that I make and sell. For me, being part of a community of international women is about giving each other the support and confidence to do anything you put your mind to and sharing this ethos with other women around the world. My favourite piece from Artisans & Adventurers collection is the Crescent Open Ring and I also love the Binti Dolls which support women suffering from Fistula in Tanzania. The best thing about my job is being part of a company that aims to do good and be as ethical as possible. It's also incredibly inspiring to be around creative, handmade products from artisans around the world."